Free shipping day is new and improved this year. While it's true that the number of retailers participating (938) is down from nearly 1,200 in previous years, that's a good thing. Why? Because the site is asking retailers to sign up only if there is no minimum purchase. Don't you hate it when a retailer offers free shipping with a $250 minimum?

This year, the site hopes to avoid listing those retailers.Wednesday, Dec. 18 is also a good day to be shopping deals on clothing sites such as Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew, which both are offering 40 or 50 percent storewide and online along with no-minimum-free shipping.

For more information about great deals on clothing this season, when many stores are offering 30 to 50 percent off storewide, check out my article. Bargains "analysts" suggest that if you really want to give clothing and have the recipient get the most bang for the buck, give a gift card that they can use after Christmas when the deals are even better.